Over the course of days we gradually worked out why there were such huge queues around Seville Cathedral. A very special 17th C statue called La Macarena had been taken to the cathedral on Saturday night, hence the crowds and hoopla then.
Here are banners on display outside the Hermitage de la Macarena where she is usually kept. Her title is something like Virgin of Hope, tearful (glass tears) yet hopeful, and she is the patron saint of Sevillans, especially bullfighters. We wondered who is the patron saint of bulls?
This poster proclaims her twenty fifth anniversary, and probably told about the dates she would be carried to the cathedral and be put on display there. The poster on the right, below, is all about her closing parade on 30th May, when she will once more be carried through the streets.
Here is the/a processional vehicle, waiting in the church.
Having discovered that Sevillans hold her very dear, their own special icon, we began to understand why thousands would stand patiently in line to see her and receive her blessing. On Wednesday morning our son and family went to the cathedral, found no queues at all, paid nothing, and walked right in! Much to their astonishment La Macarena was on full display in front of the main altar, which had been empty when we saw it on Tuesday. Obviously the special time for blessings was over.
Later in the evening we walked up again, and also went in, to find a service in progress. The huge organ rang out through the great spaces, moving music and choir voices rose and fell, it was quite awesome, especially being allowed to watch from afar. We squeezed over to the railing nearest the altar, and there she was!
Bathing in the blissful music, we lingered, photographing stained glass windows and admiring fine craftsmanship. I have to admit she looks rather grand, and I am glad I can explain why there were such huge crowds around the cathedral and no doubt will be again for her closing parade on the 30th. With her tears and hopefulness I can only think of the Divine Feminine who was banished from western culture for several thousand years, but is now making a desperately needed return, perhaps in time to prevent further destruction of our planet Earth.